Chiang Mai might have more than enough great high- and middle-end restaurants covering most of the world’s great cuisines, but some of Chiang Mai’s best food can be found sitting at the side of the road and set you back sometimes no more than a meager 30 baht. Here’s a list of our favourite foods to be found at street level.
Burmese Restaurant and Library
For those who want a change from Thai cuisine but are still in the mood for street food, I suggest the Burmese Restaurant and Library. It’s located right behind a stall selling lots of deep fried foods on Nimmanhaemin Road, hard to miss. The bestseller seems to be the tea leaf salad, filled with beans, nuts, seeds and tomatoes. It’s not the most glamorous seating, but more than makes up for it with its food and reasonable prices.
Price: 30 baht per dish, additional 5 baht for plate of rice.
Nimmanhaemin, opposite Soi 13
Opening and closing times vary, but it’s usually open until late.
ก๋วยเตี๋ยวอัญชัน (Anchan Noodle):
By using the butterfly pea flower as a main ingredient in their dishes, Anchan Noodle adds a delicious and unique twist to basic Thai street food making these brightly colored noodles some of my favorite in Chiang Mai. Customers can decide between outdoor or air conditioned indoor seating. I recommend ordering either of the butterfly pea drinks, mixed with lime or pandan for a refreshing end to your meal.
Prices: Starts from 30-40 baht a dish.
Soi Siri Mangkalajarn 9
084 949 2828
Fresh spring roll stand:
Right at the entrance of Meechok market behind Rimping supermarket, you’ll find a lady selling fresh spring rolls, or “ก๋วยเตี๋ยวลุยสวน” in Thai. This one isn’t a restaurant, but a market stall you can buy for takeaway. There’s a variety of fillings including a few vegetarian options. Each order is served with a packet of chilli mint sauce and stays fresh until the next day if kept in the fridge.
Prices: 25-50 baht.
Dee’s Fish & Chips Mobile Food Cart
Dee’s Fish & Chips offers a fusion of English/Thai dining by serving the traditional British style of Fish & Chips, combined with the Thai way of eating roadside and spending no more than 50 baht for a satisfying meal. This food cart can be found moving around from Thapae Gate and throughout the old city from noon until late.
“Dee Understands unlike many other places that makes fish and chips, how to make the batter correctly. He also uses a good grade of fish,” says British teacher Mr. James Farrell.
Prices: 50 baht.
Moon Muang through to Ratwitthi Road
081 690 5579
Khao Ka Moo Chang Puak:
For one of the best places in town for late night street food, head to Chang Puak Gate located just outside of Sri Chum Road. This area is filled stalls specialising in Pad Thai, fried rice, pad krapow, and several drink stands. One stall there in particular has gained a well deserved reputation for selling the best Kao kha Moo in Chiang mai. Tender stewed pork leg, served over rice with a boiled egg and pickled cabbage. Look for the woman wearing a cowboy hat with a long line of hungry customers.
Price: 30 baht
Chang Puak Gate
Stalls set up around 4pm till late
Hong Kong Duck
Across the street from Grandview hotel, is one of the few places you’ll be able to try authentic Hong Kong style food on a budget. The menu doesn’t have much more than duck, noodles, and pork, but for 50 baht a dish this place is definitely worth stopping by.
Chiang Mai Lamphun Road (Next to new Toyota building on Super highway)
If you’re indecisive about what and where to eat, try one of Chiang Mai’s many outdoor markets. This is a great option for anyone who wants to sample a variety of food. The only issue with this would be that there are too many things you’d want to eat, and deciding between duplicate stalls of drinks, snacks, and almost every well known Thai dish you can think of. In most of these markets you can find everything from iced Thai herbal drinks and smoothies, to sticky rice and fried meats.
Price: 100 baht should be enough to get you a meal, snack, and drink.
Sunday Walking street, Meechok market behind Rimping supermarket, opposite Rimping every Tuesday from 4pm till late, outside Central Festival on Tuesday evenings.